The Chefs Warehouse, Inc. 2019 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan
EX-10.1 2 nydocs02-1170638xv7axc.htm EXHIBIT 10.1 Exhibit
THE CHEFS’ WAREHOUSE, INC.
2019 OMNIBUS EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN
2019 OMNIBUS EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Shares Available For Awards
Stock Options and Stock Appreciation Rights
Restricted Shares and Restricted Share Units
Other Stock-Based Awards
Non-Employee Director And Outside Director Awards
Separation from Service
Change In Control
Amendment And Termination
Term Of The Plan
THE CHEFS’ WAREHOUSE, INC.
2019 OMNIBUS EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN
This plan shall be known as the “The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. 2019 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan” (as amended from time to time, the “Plan”). The purpose of the Plan is to promote the interests of The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. (the “Company”) and its stockholders by (i) attracting and retaining key officers, employees and directors of, and consultants to, the Company and its Subsidiaries and Affiliates; (ii) motivating such individuals by means of performance-related incentives to achieve long-range performance goals; (iii) enabling such individuals to participate in the long-term growth and financial success of the Company; (iv) encouraging ownership of stock in the Company by such individuals; and (v) linking their compensation to the long-term interests of the Company and its stockholders.
Section 2. Definitions.
As used in the Plan, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
2.1 “Affiliate” means (i) any entity that, directly or indirectly, is controlled by the Company, (ii) any entity in which the Company has a significant equity interest, and (iii) an affiliate of the Company, as defined in Rule 12b-2 promulgated under Section 12 of the Exchange Act.
2.2 “Award” means any Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Share Award, Restricted Share Unit, Performance Award, or Other Stock-Based Award granted under the Plan, whether singly, in combination or in tandem, to a Participant by the Committee (or the Board) pursuant to such terms, conditions, restrictions and/or limitations, if any, as the Committee (or the Board) may establish.
2.3 “Award Agreement” means any written agreement, contract or other instrument or document evidencing any Award, which may, but need not, be executed or acknowledged by a Participant.
2.4 “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.
2.5 “Cause” means, unless otherwise defined in the applicable Award Agreement, (i) the engaging by the Participant in willful misconduct that is injurious to the business, financial condition or reputation of the Company or its Subsidiaries or Affiliates, or (ii) the embezzlement or misappropriation of funds or property of the Company or its Subsidiaries or Affiliates by the Participant. For purposes of this paragraph, no act, or failure to act, on the Participant’s part shall be considered “willful” unless done, or omitted to be done, by the Participant not in good faith and without reasonable belief that the Participant’s action or omission was in the best interest of the Company. Any determination of Cause for purposes of the Plan or any Award shall be made by the Committee in its sole discretion. Any such determination shall be final and binding on a Participant.
2.6 “Change in Control” means, unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award Agreement, the happening of one of the following:
(a) any person or entity, including a “group” as defined in Section 13(d)(3) of the Exchange Act, other than the Company or a wholly-owned Subsidiary thereof or any employee benefit plan of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, becomes the beneficial owner of the Company’s securities having 35% or more of the combined voting power of the then outstanding securities of the Company that may be cast for the election of directors of the Company (other than as a result of an issuance of securities initiated by the Company in the ordinary course of business); or
(b) as the result of, or in connection with, any cash tender or exchange offer, merger or other business combination, sale of assets or contested election, or any combination of the foregoing transactions, less than a majority of the combined voting power of the then outstanding securities of the Company or any successor corporation or entity entitled to vote generally in the election of the directors of the Company or such other corporation or entity after such transaction are held in the aggregate by the holders of the Company’s securities entitled to vote generally in the election of directors of the Company immediately prior to such transaction; or
(c) during any period of two consecutive years, individuals who at the beginning of any such period constitute the Board cease for any reason to constitute at least a majority thereof, unless the election, or the nomination for election by the Company’s stockholders, of each director of the Company first elected during such period was approved by a vote of at least two-thirds of the directors of the Company then still in office who were directors of the Company at the beginning of any such period.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award Agreement, with respect to Awards subject to Section 409A of the Code, a Change in Control shall mean a “change in the ownership of the Company,” a “change in the effective control of the Company,” or a “change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the assets of the Company” as such terms are defined in Section 1.409A-3(i)(5) of the Treasury Regulations.
2.7 “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time.
2.8 “Committee” means a committee of the Board composed of not less than two Non-Employee Directors, each of whom shall be (i) a “non-employee director” for purposes of Exchange Act Section 16 and Rule 16b-3 thereunder and (ii) “independent” within the meaning of the listing standards of the Nasdaq Stock Market.
2.9 “Consultant” means any consultant to the Company or its Subsidiaries or Affiliates.
2.10 “Director” means a member of the Board.
2.11 “Disability” means, unless otherwise defined in the applicable Award Agreement, a disability that would qualify as a total and permanent disability under the Company’s then current long-term disability plan. With respect to Awards subject to Section 409A of the Code, unless otherwise defined in the applicable Award Agreement, the term “Disability” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 409A of the Code.
2.12 “Early Retirement” means, unless otherwise provided in an Award Agreement, retirement with the express consent of the Committee at or before the time of such retirement, from active employment with the Company and any Subsidiary or Affiliate prior to age 65, in accordance with any applicable early retirement policy of the Company then in effect or as may be approved by the Committee.
2.13 “Effective Date” has the meaning provided in Section 15.1 of the Plan.
2.14 “Employee” means a current or prospective officer or employee of the Company or of any Subsidiary or Affiliate.
2.15 “Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended from time to time.
2.16 “Fair Market Value” with respect to the Shares, means, for purposes of a grant of an Award as of any date, (i) the reported closing sales price of the Shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market, or any other such market or exchange as is the principal trading market for the Shares, on such date, or in the absence of reported sales on such date, the closing sales price on the immediately preceding date on which sales were reported or (ii) in the event there is no public market for the Shares on such date, the fair market value as determined, in good faith and by the reasonable application of a reasonable valuation method (as applicable), by the Committee in its sole discretion, and for purposes of a sale of a Share as of any date, the actual sales price on that date.
2.17 “Good Reason” means, unless otherwise provided in an Award Agreement, (i) a material reduction in a Participant’s position, authority, duties or responsibilities following a Change in Control as compared to such level immediately prior to a Change in Control, (ii) any material reduction in a Participant’s annual base salary as in effect immediately prior to a Change in Control; (iii) the relocation of the office at which the Participant is to perform the majority of his or her duties following a Change in Control to a location more than 30 miles from the location at which the Participant performed such duties prior to the Change in Control; or (iv) the failure by the Company or its successor to continue to provide the Participant with benefits substantially similar in aggregate value to those enjoyed by the Participant under any of the Company’s pension, life insurance, medical, health and accident or disability plans in which Participant was participating immediately prior to a Change in Control, unless the Participant is offered participation in other comparable benefit plans generally available to similarly situated employees of the Company or its successor after the Change in Control.
2.18 “Grant Price” means the price established at the time of grant of an SAR pursuant to Section 6 used to determine whether there is any payment due upon exercise of the SAR.
2.19 “Incentive Stock Option” means an option to purchase Shares from the Company that is granted under Section 6 of the Plan and that is intended to meet the requirements of Section 422 of the Code or any successor provision thereto.
2.20 “Non-Employee Director” means a member of the Board who is not an officer or employee of the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate.
2.21 “Non-Qualified Stock Option” means an option to purchase Shares from the Company that is granted under Sections 6 or 10 of the Plan and is not intended to be an Incentive Stock Option.
2.22 “Normal Retirement” means, unless otherwise defined in the applicable Award Agreement, retirement of a Participant from active employment with the Company or any of its Subsidiaries or Affiliates on or after such Participant’s 65th birthday.
2.23 “Option” means an Incentive Stock Option or a Non-Qualified Stock Option.
2.24 “Option Price” means the purchase price payable to purchase one Share upon the exercise of an Option.
2.25 “Other Stock-Based Award” means any Award granted under Sections 9 or 10 of the Plan. For purposes of the share counting provisions of Section 4.1 hereof, an Other Stock-Based Award that is not settled in cash shall be treated as (i) an Option Award if the amounts payable thereunder will be determined by reference to the appreciation of a Share, and (ii) a Restricted Share Award if the amounts payable thereunder will be determined by reference to the full value of a Share.
2.26 “Outside Director” means, with respect to the grant of an Award, a member of the Board then serving on the Committee.
2.27 “Participant” means any Employee, Director, Consultant or other person who receives an Award under the Plan.
2.28 “Performance Award” means any Award granted under Section 8 of the Plan. For purposes of the share counting provisions of Section 4.1 hereof, a Performance Award that is not settled in cash shall be treated as (i) an Option Award if the amounts payable thereunder will be determined by reference to the appreciation of a Share, and (ii) a Restricted Share Award if the amounts payable thereunder will be determined by reference to the full value of a Share.
2.29 “Person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint-stock company, trust, unincorporated organization, government or political subdivision thereof or other entity.
2.30 “Registration Date” means the time that the registration statement on Form S-1 of Chefs’ Warehouse Holdings, LLC, predecessor to the Company, becomes effective.
2.31 “Restricted Share” means any Share granted under Sections 7 to 10 of the Plan.
2.32 “Restricted Share Unit” means any unit granted under Sections 7 to 10 of the Plan.
2.33 “Retirement” means Normal or Early Retirement.
2.34 “SEC” means the Securities and Exchange Commission or any successor thereto.
2.35 “Section 16” means Section 16 of the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder and any successor provision thereto as in effect from time to time.
2.36 “Separation from Service” or “Separates from Service” shall have the meaning ascribed to such term pursuant to Section 409A of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
2.37 “Shares” means shares of the common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company.
2.38 “Share Reserve” has the meaning set forth in Section 4.1 hereof.
2.39 “Specified Employee” has the meaning ascribed to such term pursuant to Section 409A of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
2.40 “Stock Appreciation Right” or “SAR” means a stock appreciation right granted under Sections 6, 8 or 10 of the Plan that entitles the holder to receive, with respect to each Share encompassed by the exercise of such SAR, the amount determined by the Committee and specified in an Award Agreement. In the absence of such a determination, the holder shall be entitled to receive, with respect to each Share encompassed by the exercise of such SAR, the excess of the Fair Market Value of such Share on the date of exercise over the Grant Price.
2.41 “Subsidiary” means any Person (other than the Company) of which 50% or more of its voting power or its equity securities or equity interest is owned directly or indirectly by the Company.
2.42 “Substitute Awards” means Awards granted solely in assumption of, or in substitution for, outstanding awards previously granted by a company acquired by the Company or with which the Company combines.
Section 3. Administration.
3.1 Authority of Committee. The Plan shall be administered by a Committee, which shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Board; provided, however, with respect to Awards to Outside Directors, all references in the Plan to the Committee shall be deemed to be
references to the Board. Subject to the terms of the Plan and applicable law, and in addition to other express powers and authorizations conferred on the Committee by the Plan, the Committee shall have full power and authority in its discretion (and in accordance with Section 409A of the Code with respect to Awards subject thereto) to: (i) designate Participants; (ii) determine eligibility for participation in the Plan and decide all questions concerning eligibility for and the amount of Awards under the Plan; (iii) determine the type or types of Awards to be granted to a Participant; (iv) determine the number of Shares to be covered by, or with respect to which payments, rights or other matters are to be calculated in connection with Awards; (v) determine the timing, terms, and conditions of any Award; (vi) accelerate the time at which all or any part of an Award may be settled or exercised;(vii) determine whether, to what extent, and under what circumstances Awards may be settled or exercised in cash, Shares, other securities, other Awards or other property, or canceled, forfeited or suspended and the method or methods by which Awards may be settled, exercised, canceled, forfeited or suspended; (viii) determine whether, to what extent, and under what circumstances cash, Shares, other securities, other Awards, other property, and other amounts payable with respect to an Award shall be deferred either automatically or at the election of the holder thereof or of the Committee; (ix) grant Awards as an alternative to, or as the form of payment for grants or rights earned or payable under, other bonus or compensation plans, arrangements or policies of the Company or a Subsidiary or Affiliate; (x) grant Substitute Awards on such terms and conditions as the Committee may prescribe, subject to compliance with the Incentive Stock Option rules under Section 422 of the Code and the nonqualified deferred compensation rules under Section 409A of the Code, where applicable; (xi) make all determinations under the Plan concerning any Participant’s Separation from Service with the Company or a Subsidiary or Affiliate, including whether such separation occurs by reason of Cause, Good Reason, Disability, Retirement, or in connection with a Change in Control and whether a leave constitutes a Separation from Service; (xii) interpret and administer the Plan and any instrument or agreement relating to, or Award made under, the Plan; (xiii) except to the extent prohibited by Section 6.2, amend or modify the terms of any Award at or after grant with the consent of the holder of the Award; (xiv) establish, amend, suspend or waive such rules and regulations and appoint such agents as it shall deem appropriate for the proper administration of the Plan; and (xv) make any other determination and take any other action that the Committee deems necessary or desirable for the administration of the Plan, subject to the exclusive authority of the Board under Section 13 hereunder to amend or terminate the Plan.
3.2 Committee Discretion Binding. Unless otherwise expressly provided in the Plan, all designations, determinations, interpretations, and other decisions under or with respect to the Plan or any Award shall be within the sole discretion of the Committee, may be made at any time and shall be final, conclusive, and binding upon all Persons, including the Company, any Subsidiary or Affiliate, any Participant and any holder or beneficiary of any Award. A Participant or other holder of an Award may contest a decision or action by the Committee with respect to such person or Award only on the grounds that such decision or action was arbitrary or capricious or was unlawful, and any review of such decision or action shall be limited to determining whether the Committee’s decision or action was arbitrary or capricious or was unlawful.
3.3 Delegation. Subject to the terms of the Plan and applicable law, the Committee may delegate to one or more officers or managers of the Company or of any Subsidiary or Affiliate, or to a Committee of such officers or managers, the authority, subject to such terms and limitations as the Committee shall determine, to grant Awards to or to cancel, modify or waive rights with respect to, or to alter, discontinue, suspend or terminate Awards held by Participants who are not officers or directors of the Company for purposes of Section 16 or who are otherwise not subject to such Section.
3.4 No Liability. No member of the Board or Committee shall be liable for any action taken or determination made in good faith with respect to the Plan or any Award granted hereunder.
Section 4. Shares Available For Awards.
4.1 Shares Available. Subject to the provisions of Section 4.2 below, the maximum aggregate number of Shares which may be issued pursuant to all Awards after the Effective Date of the Plan is 2,600,000 Shares (the “Share Reserve”). The number of Shares with respect to which Incentive Stock Options may be granted shall be no more than 2,600,000 Shares. Each Share issued pursuant to an Option shall reduce the Share Reserve by one (1) share. Each Share subject to a redeemed portion of a SAR shall reduce the Share Reserve by one (1) share. Each Share issued pursuant to a Restricted Stock Award or a Restricted Stock Unit Award shall reduce the Share Reserve by one (1) share. If any Award granted under the Plan (whether before or after the Effective Date of the Plan) shall expire, terminate, be settled in cash (in whole or in part) or otherwise be forfeited or canceled for any reason before it has vested or been exercised in full, the Shares subject to such Award shall, to the extent of such expiration, cash settlement, forfeiture, or termination, again be available for Awards under the Plan, in accordance with this Section 4.1. The Committee may make such other determinations regarding the counting of Shares issued pursuant to the Plan as it deems necessary or advisable, provided that such determinations shall be permitted by law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if an Option or SAR is exercised, in whole or in part, by tender of Shares or if the Company’s tax withholding obligation is satisfied by withholding Shares, the number of Shares deemed to have been issued under the Plan for purposes of the limitation set forth in this Section 4.1 shall be the number of Shares that were subject to the Option or SAR or portion thereof, and not the net number of Shares actually issued and any SARs to be settled in Shares shall be counted in full against the number of Shares available for issuance under the Plan, regardless of the number of shares issued upon the settlement of the SAR. Any Shares that again become available for grant pursuant to this Section shall be added back as (i) one (1) Share if such Shares were subject to Options or Stock Appreciation Rights granted under the Plan, and (ii) as one (1) Share if such Shares were subject to Awards other than Options or Stock Appreciation Rights granted under the Plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing and subject to adjustment as provided in Section 4.2 hereof, no Participant may receive Options or SARs under the Plan in any calendar year that, taken together, relate to more than 200,000 Shares.
4.2 Adjustments. Without limiting the Committee’s discretion as provided in Section 12 hereof, in the event that the Committee determines that any dividend or other distribution
(whether in the form of cash, Shares, other securities or other property, and other than a normal cash dividend), recapitalization, stock split, reverse stock split, reorganization, merger, consolidation, split-up, spin-off, combination, repurchase or exchange of Shares or other securities of the Company, issuance of warrants or other rights to purchase Shares or other securities of the Company, or other similar corporate transaction or event affects the Shares, then the Committee shall, in an equitable and proportionate manner as determined by the Committee (and, as applicable, in such manner as is consistent with 422 and 409A of the Code and the regulations thereunder) either: (i) adjust any or all of (1) the aggregate number of Shares or other securities of the Company (or number and kind of other securities or property) with respect to which Awards may be granted under the Plan; (2) the number of Shares or other securities of the Company (or number and kind of other securities or property) subject to outstanding Awards under the Plan, provided that the number of Shares subject to any Award shall always be a whole number; (3) the grant or exercise price with respect to any Award under the Plan, and (4) the limits on the number of Shares or Awards that may be granted to Participants under the Plan in any calendar year; (ii) provide for an equivalent award in respect of securities of the surviving entity of any merger, consolidation or other transaction or event having a similar effect; or (iii) make provision for a cash payment to the holder of an outstanding Award. Any such adjustments to outstanding Awards shall be effected in a manner that precludes the material enlargement of rights and benefits under such Awards.
4.3 Substitute Awards. Any Shares issued by the Company as Substitute Awards in connection with the assumption or substitution of outstanding grants from any acquired corporation shall not reduce the Shares available for Awards under the Plan.
4.4 Sources of Shares Deliverable Under Awards. Any Shares delivered pursuant to an Award may consist, in whole or in part, of authorized and unissued Shares or of issued Shares which have been reacquired by the Company.
Section 5. Eligibility.
Any Employee, Director or Consultant shall be eligible to be designated a Participant; provided, however, that Outside Directors shall only be eligible to receive Awards granted consistent with Section 10.
Section 6. Stock Options And Stock Appreciation Rights.
6.1 Grant. Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall have sole and complete authority to determine the Participants to whom Options and SARs shall be granted, the number of Shares subject to each Award, the exercise price and the conditions and limitations applicable to the exercise of each Option and SAR. An Option may be granted with or without a related SAR. An SAR may be granted with or without a related Option. The grant of an Option or SAR shall occur when the Committee by resolution, written consent or other appropriate action determines to grant such Option or SAR for a particular number of Shares to a particular Participant at a particular Option Price or Grant Price, as the case may be, or such later date as the Committee shall specify in such resolution, written consent or other appropriate action. The Committee shall have the authority to grant Incentive Stock Options and to grant Non-Qualified
Stock Options. In the case of Incentive Stock Options, the terms and conditions of such grants shall be subject to and comply with Section 422 of the Code, as from time to time amended, and any regulations implementing such statute. To the extent the aggregate Fair Market Value (determined at the time the Incentive Stock Option is granted) of the Shares with respect to which all Incentive Stock Options are exercisable for the first time by an Employee during any calendar year (under all plans described in Section 422(d) of the Code of the Employee’s employer corporation and its parent and Subsidiaries) exceeds $100,000, such Options shall be treated as Non-Qualified Stock Options.
6.2 Price. The Committee in its sole discretion shall establish the Option Price at the time each Option is granted and the Grant Price at the time each SAR is granted. Except in the case of Substitute Awards, the Option Price of an Option may not be less than the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of grant of such Option, and the Grant Price of an SAR may not be less than the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of grant of such SAR. In the case of Substitute Awards or Awards granted in connection with an adjustment provided for in Section 4.2 hereof in the form of Options or SARS, such grants shall have an Option Price (or Grant Price) per Share that is intended to maintain the economic value of the Award that was replaced or adjusted as determined by the Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing and except as permitted by the provisions of Section 4.2 hereof, the Committee shall not have the power to (i) amend the terms of previously granted Options to reduce the Option Price of such Options, (ii) amend the terms of previously granted SARs to reduce the Grant Price of such SARs, (iii) cancel such Options and grant substitute Options with a lower Option Price than the cancelled Options, or (iv) cancel such SARs and grant substitute SARs with a lower Grant Price than the cancelled SARs, in each case without the approval of the Company’s stockholders.
6.3 Term. Subject to the Committee’s authority under Section 3.1 and the provisions of Section 6.6, each Option and SAR and all rights and obligations thereunder shall expire on the date determined by the Committee and specified in the Award Agreement. The Committee shall be under no duty to provide terms of like duration for Options or SARs granted under the Plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, but subject to Section 6.4(a) hereof, no Option or SAR shall be exercisable after the expiration of ten (10) years from the date such Option or SAR was granted.
(a) Subject to Section 14.3, each Option and SAR shall be exercisable at such times and subject to such terms and conditions as the Committee may, in its sole discretion, specify in the applicable Award Agreement or thereafter. The Committee shall have full and complete authority to determine, subject to Section 6.6 herein, whether an Option or SAR will be exercisable in full at any time or from time to time during the term of the Option or SAR, or to provide for the exercise thereof in such installments, upon the occurrence of such events and at such times during the term of the Option or SAR as the Committee may determine. An Award Agreement may provide that the period of time over which an Option, other than an Incentive Stock Option, or SAR may be exercised shall be automatically extended if on the scheduled expiration of such Award, the Participant’s exercise of such Award would, in the reasonable judgment of the Company,
violate applicable securities law or would be prohibited by a Company “blackout” policy; provided, however, that during the extended exercise period the Option or SAR may only be exercised to the extent such Award was exercisable in accordance with its terms immediately prior to such scheduled expiration date; provided further, however, that such extended exercise period shall end not later than thirty (30) days after the exercise of such Option or SAR first would no longer violate such laws or policy.
(b) The Committee may impose such conditions with respect to the exercise of Options or SARs, including without limitation, any relating to the application of federal, state or foreign securities laws or the Code, as it may deem necessary or advisable. The exercise of any Option granted hereunder shall be effective only at such time as the sale of Shares pursuant to such exercise will not violate any state or federal securities or other laws.
(c) An Option or SAR may be exercised in whole or in part at any time, with respect to whole Shares only, within the period permitted thereunder for the exercise thereof, and shall be exercised by written notice of intent to exercise the Option or SAR, delivered to the Company at its principal office, and payment in full to the Company at the direction of the Committee of the amount of the Option Price for the number of Shares with respect to which the Option is then being exercised.
(d) Payment of the Option Price shall be made in (i) cash or cash equivalents, (ii) at the discretion of the Committee, by transfer, either actually or by attestation, to the Company of unencumbered Shares previously acquired by the Participant, valued at the Fair Market Value of such Shares on the date of exercise (or next succeeding trading date, if the date of exercise is not a trading date), together with any applicable withholding taxes, such transfer to be upon such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee, (iii) by a combination of (i) or (ii), or (iv) by any other method approved or accepted by the Committee in its sole discretion, including, if the Committee so determines, (x) a cashless (broker-assisted) exercise or (y) withholding Shares (net-exercise) otherwise deliverable to the Participant pursuant to the Option having an aggregate Fair Market Value at the time of exercise equal to the total Option Price. Until the optionee has been issued the Shares subject to such exercise, he or she shall possess no rights as a stockholder with respect to such Shares. The Company reserves, at any and all times in the Company’s sole discretion, the right to establish, decline to approve or terminate any program or procedures for the exercise of Options by means of a method set forth in subsection (iv) above, including with respect to one or more Participants specified by the Company notwithstanding that such program or procedures may be available to other Participants.
(e) At the Committee’s discretion, the amount payable as a result of the exercise of an SAR may be settled in cash, Shares or a combination of cash and Shares. A fractional Share shall not be deliverable upon the exercise of a SAR but a cash payment will be made in lieu thereof.
6.5 Separation from Service. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Award Agreement, an Option or SAR may be exercised only to the extent that it is then exercisable, and if at all times during the period beginning with the date of granting such Award and ending on the date of exercise of such Award the Participant is an Employee, Non-Employee Director or Consultant, and shall terminate immediately upon a Separation from Service by the Participant. An Option or SAR shall cease to become exercisable upon a Separation from Service of the holder thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section 6.5 to the contrary, the Committee may determine in its discretion that an Option or SAR may be exercised following any such Separation from Service, whether or not exercisable at the time of such separation; provided, however, that in no event may an Option or SAR be exercised after the expiration date of such Award specified in the applicable Award Agreement, except as provided in Section 6.4(a).
6.6 Ten Percent Stock Rule. Notwithstanding any other provisions in the Plan, if at the time an Option is otherwise to be granted pursuant to the Plan, the optionee or rights holder owns directly or indirectly (within the meaning of Section 424(d) of the Code) Shares of the Company possessing more than ten percent (10%) of the total combined voting power of all classes of Stock of the Company or its parent or Subsidiary or Affiliate corporations (within the meaning of Section 422(b)(6) of the Code), then any Incentive Stock Option to be granted to such optionee or rights holder pursuant to the Plan shall satisfy the requirement of Section 422(c)(5) of the Code, and the Option Price shall be not less than one hundred ten percent (110%) of the Fair Market Value of the Shares of the Company, and such Option by its terms shall not be exercisable after the expiration of five (5) years from the date such Option is granted.
Section 7. Restricted Shares And Restricted Share Units.
(a) Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall have sole and complete authority to determine the Participants to whom Restricted Shares and Restricted Share Units shall be granted, the number of Restricted Shares and/or the number of Restricted Share Units to be granted to each Participant, the duration of the period during which, and the conditions under which, the Restricted Shares and Restricted Share Units may be forfeited to the Company, and the other terms and conditions of such Awards. The Restricted Share and Restricted Share Unit Awards shall be evidenced by Award Agreements in such form as the Committee shall from time to time approve, which agreements shall comply with and be subject to the terms and conditions provided hereunder and any additional terms and conditions established by the Committee that are consistent with the terms of the Plan.
(b) Each Restricted Share and Restricted Share Unit Award made under the Plan shall be for such number of Shares as shall be determined by the Committee and set forth in the Award Agreement containing the terms of such Restricted Share or Restricted Share Unit Award. Such agreement shall set forth a period of time (not less than one year) during which the grantee must remain in the continuous employment (or other service-providing capacity) of the Company in order for the forfeiture and transfer
restrictions to lapse. If the Committee so determines, the restrictions may lapse during such restricted period in installments with respect to specified portions of the Shares covered by the Restricted Share or Restricted Share Unit Award. The Award Agreement may also, in the discretion of the Committee, set forth performance or other conditions that will subject the Shares to forfeiture and transfer restrictions. The Committee may, at its discretion, waive all or any part of the restrictions applicable to any or all outstanding Restricted Share and Restricted Share Unit Awards.
7.2 Delivery of Shares and Transfer Restrictions.
(a) At the time a Restricted Share Award is granted, a certificate representing the number of Shares awarded thereunder shall be registered in the name of the grantee. Such certificate shall be held by the Company or any custodian appointed by the Company for the account of the grantee subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan, and shall bear such a legend setting forth the restrictions imposed thereon as the Committee, in its discretion, may determine. The foregoing to the contrary notwithstanding, the Committee may, in its discretion, provide that a Participant’s ownership of Restricted Shares prior to the lapse of any transfer restrictions or any other applicable restrictions shall, in lieu of such certificates, be evidenced by a “book entry” (i.e., a computerized or manual entry) in the records of the Company or its designated agent in the name of the Participant who has received such Award, and confirmation and account statements sent to the Participant with respect to such book-entry Shares may bear the restrictive legend referenced in the preceding sentence. Such records of the Company or such agent shall, absent manifest error, be binding on all Participants who receive Restricted Share Awards evidenced in such manner. The holding of Restricted Shares by the Company or such an escrow holder, or the use of book entries to evidence the ownership of Restricted Shares, in accordance with this Section 7.2(a), shall not affect the rights of Participants as owners of the Restricted Shares awarded to them, nor affect the restrictions applicable to such shares under the Award Agreement or the Plan, including the transfer restrictions.
(b) Unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award Agreement, the grantee shall have all rights of a stockholder with respect to the Restricted Shares, including the right to receive dividends and the right to vote such Shares, subject to the following restrictions: (i) the grantee shall not be entitled to delivery of the stock certificate until the expiration of the restricted period and the fulfillment of any other restrictive conditions set forth in the Award Agreement with respect to such Shares; (ii) none of the Shares may be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged, hypothecated or otherwise encumbered or disposed of during such restricted period or until after the fulfillment of any such other restrictive conditions; (iii) except as otherwise determined by the Committee at or after grant, all of the Shares shall be forfeited and all rights of the grantee to such Shares shall terminate, without further obligation on the part of the Company, unless the grantee remains in the continuous employment of the Company for the entire restricted period in relation to which such Shares were granted and unless any other restrictive conditions relating to the Restricted Share Award are met; and (iv) dividends declared and paid on
Restricted Shares during such restricted period shall be retained by the Company and paid to the grantee upon the satisfaction of the continuous employment and any other restrictive conditions relating to such Restricted Shares. Restricted Share Units shall be subject to similar transfer restrictions as Restricted Share Awards, except that no Shares are actually awarded to a Participant who is granted Restricted Share Units on the date of grant, and such Participant shall have no rights of a stockholder with respect to such Restricted Share Units until the restrictions set forth in the applicable Award Agreement have lapsed.
7.3 Termination of Restrictions. At the end of the restricted period and provided that any other restrictive conditions of the Restricted Share Award are met, or at such earlier time as otherwise determined by the Committee, all restrictions set forth in the Award Agreement relating to the Restricted Share Award or in the Plan shall lapse as to the Restricted Shares subject thereto, and a stock certificate for the appropriate number of Shares, free of the restrictions and restricted stock legend, shall be delivered to the Participant or the Participant’s beneficiary or estate, as the case may be (or, in the case of book-entry Shares, such restrictions and restricted stock legend shall be removed from the confirmation and account statements delivered to the Participant or the Participant’s beneficiary or estate, as the case may be, in book-entry form).
7.4 Payment of Restricted Share Units. Each Restricted Share Unit shall have a value equal to the Fair Market Value of a Share. Restricted Share Units may be paid in cash, Shares, other securities or other property, as determined in the sole discretion of the Committee, upon the lapse of the restrictions applicable thereto, or otherwise in accordance with the applicable Award Agreement. The applicable Award Agreement shall specify whether a Participant will be entitled to receive dividend equivalent rights in respect of Restricted Share Units at the time of any payment of dividends to stockholders on Shares. If the applicable Award Agreement specifies that a Participant will be entitled to dividend equivalent rights, (i) the amount of any such dividend equivalent right shall equal the amount that would be payable to the Participant as a stockholder in respect of a number of Shares equal to the number of vested Restricted Share Units then credited to the Participant, and (ii) any such dividend equivalent right shall be paid in accordance with the Company’s payment practices as may be established from time to time and as of the date on which such dividend would have been payable in respect of outstanding Shares (and in accordance with Section 409A of the Code with regard to Awards subject thereto); provided, that no dividend equivalents shall be paid on Restricted Share Units that have not vested and such dividend equivalents shall instead accumulate and be paid upon vesting of the Restricted Share Units to which they relate. Except as otherwise determined by the Committee at or after grant, Restricted Share Units may not be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged, hypothecated or otherwise encumbered or disposed of, and all Restricted Share Units and all rights of the grantee to such Restricted Share Units shall terminate, without further obligation on the part of the Company, unless the grantee remains in continuous employment of the Company for the entire restricted period in relation to which such Restricted Share Units were granted and unless any other restrictive conditions relating to the Restricted Share Unit Award are met.
Section 8. Performance Awards.
8.1 Grant. The Committee shall have sole and complete authority to determine the Participants who shall receive a Performance Award, which shall consist of a right that is (i) denominated in cash or Shares (including but not limited to Restricted Shares and Restricted Share Units), (ii) valued, as determined by the Committee, in accordance with the achievement of such performance goals during such performance periods as the Committee shall establish, and (iii) payable at such time and in such form as the Committee shall determine.
8.2 Terms and Conditions. Subject to the terms of the Plan and any applicable Award Agreement, the Committee shall determine the performance goals to be achieved during any performance period, the length of any performance period, the amount of any Performance Award and the amount and kind of any payment or transfer to be made pursuant to any Performance Award, and may amend specific provisions of the Performance Award; provided, however, that such amendment may not adversely affect existing Performance Awards made within a performance period commencing prior to implementation of the amendment.
8.3 Payment of Performance Awards. Performance Awards may be paid in a lump sum or in installments following the close of the performance period or, in accordance with the procedures established by the Committee, on a deferred basis. Separation from Service prior to the end of any performance period, other than for reasons of death or Disability, will result in the forfeiture of the Performance Award, and no payments will be made. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may in its discretion, waive any performance goals and/or other terms and conditions relating to a Performance Award. A Participant’s rights to any Performance Award may not be sold, assigned, transferred, pledged, hypothecated or otherwise encumbered or disposed of in any manner, except by will or the laws of descent and distribution, and/or except as the Committee may determine at or after grant.
Section 9. Other Stock-Based Awards.
The Committee shall have the authority to determine the Participants who shall receive an Other Stock-Based Award, which shall consist of any right that is (i) not an Award described in Sections 6 and 7 above and (ii) an Award of Shares or an Award denominated or payable in, valued in whole or in part by reference to, or otherwise based on or related to, Shares (including, without limitation, securities convertible into Shares), as deemed by the Committee to be consistent with the purposes of the Plan. Subject to the terms of the Plan and any applicable Award Agreement, the Committee shall determine the terms and conditions of any such Other Stock-Based Award.
Section 10. Non-Employee Director And Outside Director Awards.
10.1 The Board may provide that all or a portion of a Non-Employee Director’s annual retainer, meeting fees and/or other awards or compensation as determined by the Board, be payable (either automatically or at the election of a Non-Employee Director) in the form of Non-Qualified Stock Options, Restricted Shares, Restricted Share Units and/or Other Stock-Based Awards, including unrestricted Shares. The Board shall determine the terms and conditions of any such Awards, including the terms and conditions which shall apply upon a termination of the Non-Employee Director’s service as a member of the Board, and shall have full power and
authority in its discretion to administer such Awards, subject to the terms of the Plan and applicable law.
10.2 The Board may also grant Awards to Outside Directors pursuant to the terms of the Plan, including any Award described in Sections 6, 7 and 9 above. With respect to such Awards, all references in the Plan to the Committee shall be deemed to be references to the Board.
Section 11. Separation from Service.
The Committee shall have the full power and authority to determine the terms and conditions that shall apply to any Award upon a Separation from Service with the Company, its Subsidiaries and Affiliates, including a separation from the Company with or without Cause, by a Participant voluntarily, or by reason of death, Disability, Early Retirement or Retirement, and may provide such terms and conditions in the Award Agreement or in such rules and regulations as it may prescribe.
Section 12. Change In Control.
12.1 Certain Terminations. Unless otherwise provided by the Committee, or in an Award Agreement or by a contractual agreement between the Company and a Participant, if, within one year following a Change in Control, a Participant Separates from Service with the Company (or its successor) by reason of (a) death; (b) Disability; (c) Normal Retirement or Early Retirement; (d) for Good Reason by the Participant; or (e) involuntary termination by the Company for any reason other than for Cause, all outstanding Awards of such Participant shall vest, become immediately exercisable and payable and have all restrictions lifted. For purposes of an Award subject to Section 409A of the Code, Good Reason shall exist only if (i) the Participant notifies the Company of the event establishing Good Reason within 90 days of its initial existence, (ii) the Company is provided 30 days to cure such event and (iii) the Participant Separates from Service with the Company (or its successor) within 180 days of the initial occurrence of the event.
12.2 Accelerated Vesting. The Committee may (in accordance with Section 409A, to the extent applicable), in its discretion, provide in any Award Agreement, or, in the event of a Change in Control, may take such actions as it deems appropriate to provide, for the acceleration of the exercisability, vesting and/or settlement in connection with such Change in Control of each or any outstanding Award or portion thereof and Shares acquired pursuant thereto upon such conditions (if any), including termination of the Participant’s service prior to, upon, or following such Change in Control, to such extent as the Committee shall determine. In the event of a Change of Control, and without the consent of any Participant, the Committee may, in its discretion, provide that for a period of at least fifteen (15) days prior to the Change in Control, any Options or Stock Appreciation Rights shall be exercisable as to all Shares subject thereto and that upon the occurrence of the Change in Control, such Stock Options or Stock Appreciation Rights shall terminate and be of no further force and effect.
12.3 Assumption, Continuation or Substitution. In the event of a Change in Control, the surviving, continuing, successor, or purchasing corporation or other business entity or parent thereof, as the case may be (the "Acquiror"), may (in accordance with Section 409A, to the extent applicable), without the consent of any Participant, either assume or continue the Company’s rights and obligations under each or any Award or portion thereof outstanding immediately prior to the Change in Control or substitute for each or any such outstanding Award or portion thereof a substantially equivalent award with respect to the Acquiror’s stock, as applicable; provided, that in the event of such an assumption, the Acquiror must grant the rights set forth in Section 12.1 to the Participant in respect of such assumed Awards. For purposes of this Section, if so determined by the Committee, in its discretion, an Award denominated in Shares shall be deemed assumed if, following the Change in Control, the Award (as adjusted, if applicable, pursuant to Section 4.2 hereof) confers the right to receive, subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan and the applicable Award Agreement, for each Share subject to the Award immediately prior to the Change in Control, the consideration (whether stock, cash, other securities or property or a combination thereof) to which a holder of a share of Stock on the effective date of the Change in Control was entitled; provided, however, that if such consideration is not solely common stock of the Acquiror, the Committee may, with the consent of the Acquiror, provide for the consideration to be received upon the exercise or settlement of the Award, for each Share subject to the Award, to consist solely of common stock of the Acquiror equal in Fair Market Value to the per share consideration received by holders of Shares pursuant to the Change in Control. Any Award or portion thereof which is neither assumed or continued by the Acquiror in connection with the Change in Control nor exercised or settled as of the time of consummation of the Change in Control shall terminate and cease to be outstanding effective as of the time of consummation of the Change in Control.
12.4 Cash-Out of Awards. The Committee may (in accordance with Section 409A, to the extent applicable), in its discretion at or after grant and without the consent of any Participant, determine that, upon the occurrence of a Change in Control, each or any Award or a portion thereof outstanding immediately prior to the Change in Control and not previously exercised or settled shall be canceled in exchange for a payment with respect to each vested Share (and each unvested Share, if so determined by the Committee) subject to such canceled Award in (i) cash, (ii) stock of the Company or of a corporation or other business entity a party to the Change in Control, or (iii) other property which, in any such case, shall be in an amount having a Fair Market Value equal to the Fair Market Value of the consideration to be paid per Share in the Change in Control, reduced by the exercise or purchase price per share, if any, under such Award (which payment may, for the avoidance of doubt, be $0, in the event the per share exercise or purchase price of an Award is greater than the per share consideration in connection with the Change in Control). In the event such determination is made by the Committee, the amount of such payment (reduced by applicable withholding taxes, if any), if any, shall be paid to Participants in respect of the vested portions of their canceled Awards as soon as practicable following the date of the Change in Control and may be paid in respect of the unvested portions of their canceled Awards in accordance with the vesting schedules applicable to such Awards.
12.5 Performance Awards. The Committee may (in accordance with Section 409A, to the extent applicable), in its discretion at or after grant, provide that in the event of a Change in
Control, (i) any outstanding Performance Awards relating to performance periods ending prior to the Change in Control which have been earned but not paid shall become immediately payable, (ii) all then-in-progress performance periods for Performance Awards that are outstanding shall end, and either (A) any or all Participants shall be deemed to have earned an award equal to the relevant target award opportunity for the performance period in question, or (B) at the Committee’s discretion, the Committee shall determine the extent to which performance criteria have been met with respect to each such Performance Award, if at all, and (iii) the Company shall cause to be paid to each Participant such partial or full Performance Awards, in cash, Shares or other property as determined by the Committee, within thirty (30) days of such Change in Control, based on the Change in Control consideration, which amount may be zero if applicable. In the absence of such a determination, any Performance Awards relating to performance periods that will not have ended as of the date of a Change in Control shall be terminated and canceled for no further consideration.
Section 13. Amendment And Termination.
13.1 Amendments to the Plan. The Board may amend, alter, suspend, discontinue or terminate the Plan or any portion thereof at any time (and in accordance with Section 409A of the Code with regard to Awards subject thereto); provided that no such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuation or termination shall be made without stockholder approval if such approval is necessary to comply with any tax or regulatory requirement for which or with which the Board deems it necessary or desirable to comply.
13.2 Amendments to Awards. Subject to the restrictions of Section 6.2, the Committee may waive any conditions or rights under, amend any terms of or alter, suspend, discontinue, cancel or terminate, any Award theretofore granted, prospectively or retroactively in time (and in accordance with Section 409A of the Code with regard to Awards subject thereto); provided that any such waiver, amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, cancellation or termination that would materially and adversely affect the rights of any Participant or any holder or beneficiary of any Award theretofore granted shall not to that extent be effective without the consent of the affected Participant, holder or beneficiary.
13.3 Adjustments of Awards Upon the Occurrence of Certain Unusual or Nonrecurring Events. The Committee is hereby authorized to make equitable and proportionate adjustments in the terms and conditions of, and the criteria included in, Awards in recognition of unusual or nonrecurring events (and shall make such adjustments for the events described in Section 4.2 hereof) affecting the Company, any Subsidiary or Affiliate, or the financial statements of the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate, or of changes in applicable laws, regulations or accounting principles.
Section 14. General Provisions.
14.1 Limited Transferability of Awards. Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, an Award Agreement or by the Committee at or after grant, no Award shall be assigned, alienated, pledged, attached, sold or otherwise transferred or encumbered by a Participant, except by will or the laws of descent and distribution. No transfer of an Award by will or by laws of descent and
distribution shall be effective to bind the Company unless the Company shall have been furnished with written notice thereof and an authenticated copy of the will and/or such other evidence as the Committee may deem necessary or appropriate to establish the validity of the transfer. No transfer of an Award for value shall be permitted under the Plan.
14.2 Dividend Equivalents. In the sole and complete discretion of the Committee, an Award may provide the Participant with dividends or dividend equivalents, payable in cash, Shares, other securities or other property on a deferred basis. Dividends or dividend equivalents with respect to Performance Awards shall be accumulated until, and shall be paid only to the extent that, such Award is earned and vested based on the satisfaction of the applicable performance measures and time-based vesting restrictions. Dividends or dividend equivalents with respect to Awards that are subject to time-based vesting restrictions shall be accumulated until, and shall be paid only to the extent that, such Awards vest in accordance with their terms. All dividends or dividend equivalents may, at the Committee’s discretion, accrue interest or be invested into additional Shares. Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to an Award subject to Section 409A of the Code, the payment, deferral or crediting of any dividends or dividend equivalents shall conform to the requirements of Section 409A of the Code.
14.3 Minimum Vesting. All Awards shall be subject to a minimum time-based vesting or performance period, as applicable, of not less than one year from the grant date, except in the case of a Substitute Award made in replacement of an award that is already fully vested or scheduled to vest in less than one year from the grant date of such Substitute Award. Notwithstanding the foregoing, up to 5% of the total shares authorized for issuance under the Plan pursuant to Section 4.1 (as adjusted, if applicable, pursuant to Section 4.2) may provide for a vesting period or performance period of less than one year following the grant date.
14.4 Compliance with Section 409A of the Code. No Award (or modification thereof) shall provide for deferral of compensation that does not comply with Section 409A of the Code unless the Committee, at the time of grant, specifically provides that the Award is not intended to comply with Section 409A of the Code. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, if one or more of the payments or benefits received or to be received by a Participant pursuant to an Award would cause the Participant to incur any additional tax or interest under Section 409A of the Code, the Committee may reform such provision to maintain to the maximum extent practicable the original intent of the applicable provision without violating the provisions of Section 409A of the Code. In addition, if a Participant is a Specified Employee at the time of his or her Separation from Service, any payments with respect to any Award subject to Section 409A of the Code to which the Participant would otherwise be entitled by reason of such Separation from Service shall be made on the date that is six months after the Participant’s Separation from Service (or, if earlier, the date of the Participant’s death). Although the Company intends to administer the Plan so that Awards will be exempt from, or will comply with, the requirements of Section 409A of the Code, the Company does not warrant that any Award under the Plan will qualify for favorable tax treatment under Section 409A of the Code or any other provision of federal, state, local or foreign law. The Company shall not be liable to any Participant for any tax, interest, or penalties that Participant might owe as a result of the grant, holding, vesting, exercise, or payment of any Award under the Plan.
14.5 No Rights to Awards. No Person shall have any claim to be granted any Award, and there is no obligation for uniformity of treatment of Participants or holders or beneficiaries of Awards. The terms and conditions of Awards need not be the same with respect to each Participant.
14.6 Recoupment. Notwithstanding anything in the Plan to the contrary, all Awards granted under the Plan and any payments made under the Plan shall be subject to clawback or recoupment as permitted or mandated by applicable law, rules, regulations or Company policy as enacted, adopted or modified from time to time. For the avoidance of doubt, this provision shall apply to any gains realized upon exercise or settlement of an Award.
14.7 Share Certificates. All certificates for Shares or other securities of the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate delivered under the Plan pursuant to any Award or the exercise thereof shall be subject to such stop transfer orders and other restrictions as the Committee may deem advisable under the Plan or the rules, regulations and other requirements of the SEC or any state securities commission or regulatory authority, any stock exchange or other market upon which such Shares or other securities are then listed, and any applicable Federal or state laws, and the Committee may cause a legend or legends to be put on any such certificates to make appropriate reference to such restrictions.
14.8 Tax Withholding. A Participant may be required to pay to the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate and the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate shall have the right and is hereby authorized to withhold from any Award, from any payment due or transfer made under any Award or under the Plan, or from any compensation or other amount owing to a Participant the amount (in cash, Shares, other securities, other Awards or other property) of any applicable withholding or other tax-related obligations in respect of an Award, its exercise or any other transaction involving an Award, or any payment or transfer under an Award or under the Plan and to take such other action as may be necessary in the opinion of the Company to satisfy all obligations for the payment of such taxes. The Committee may provide for additional cash payments to holders of Options to defray or offset any tax arising from the grant, vesting, exercise or payment of any Award. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Committee may in its discretion permit a Participant to satisfy or arrange to satisfy, in whole or in part, the tax obligations incident to an Award by: (a) electing to have the Company withhold Shares or other property otherwise deliverable to such Participant pursuant to the Award (provided, however, that the amount of any Shares so withheld shall not exceed the amount necessary to satisfy required federal, state local and foreign withholding obligations using the minimum statutory withholding rates for federal, state, local and/or foreign tax purposes, including payroll taxes, that are applicable to supplemental taxable income) and/or (b) tendering to the Company Shares owned by such Participant (or by such Participant and his or her spouse jointly) and purchased or held for the requisite period of time as may be required to avoid the Company’s or the Affiliates’ or Subsidiaries’ incurring an adverse accounting charge, based, in each case, on the Fair Market Value of the Shares on the payment date as determined by the Committee. All such elections shall be irrevocable, made in writing, signed by the Participant, and shall be subject to any restrictions or limitations that the Committee, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.
14.9 Award Agreements. Each Award hereunder shall be evidenced by an Award Agreement that shall be delivered to the Participant and may specify the terms and conditions of the Award and any rules applicable thereto. In the event of a conflict between the terms of the Plan and any Award Agreement, the terms of the Plan shall prevail. The Committee shall, subject to applicable law, determine the date an Award is deemed to be granted. The Committee or, except to the extent prohibited under applicable law, its delegate(s) may establish the terms of agreements or other documents evidencing Awards under the Plan and may, but need not, require as a condition to any such agreement’s or document’s effectiveness that such agreement or document be executed by the Participant, including by electronic signature or other electronic indication of acceptance, and that such Participant agree to such further terms and conditions as specified in such agreement or document. The grant of an Award under the Plan shall not confer any rights upon the Participant holding such Award other than such terms, and subject to such conditions, as are specified in the Plan as being applicable to such type of Award (or to all Awards) or as are expressly set forth in the agreement or other document evidencing such Award.
14.10 No Limit on Other Compensation Arrangements. Nothing contained in the Plan shall prevent the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate from adopting or continuing in effect other compensation arrangements, which may, but need not, provide for the grant of Options, Restricted Shares, Restricted Share Units, Other Stock-Based Awards or other types of Awards provided for hereunder.
14.11 No Right to Employment. The grant of an Award shall not be construed as giving a Participant the right to be retained in the employ of the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate. Further, the Company or a Subsidiary or Affiliate may at any time dismiss a Participant from employment, free from any liability or any claim under the Plan, unless otherwise expressly provided in an Award Agreement.
14.12 No Rights as Stockholder. Subject to the provisions of the Plan and the applicable Award Agreement, no Participant or holder or beneficiary of any Award shall have any rights as a stockholder with respect to any Shares to be distributed under the Plan until such person has become a holder of such Shares.
14.13 Governing Law. The validity, construction and effect of the Plan and any rules and regulations relating to the Plan and any Award Agreement shall be determined in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to conflicts of laws principles.
14.14 Severability. If any provision of the Plan or any Award is, or becomes, or is deemed to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any jurisdiction or as to any Person or Award, or would disqualify the Plan or any Award under any law deemed applicable by the Committee, such provision shall be construed or deemed amended to conform to the applicable laws, or if it cannot be construed or deemed amended without, in the determination of the Committee, materially altering the intent of the Plan or the Award, such provision shall be stricken as to such jurisdiction, Person or Award and the remainder of the Plan and any such Award shall remain in full force and effect.
14.15 Other Laws. The Committee may refuse to issue or transfer any Shares or other consideration under an Award if, acting in its sole discretion, it determines that the issuance or transfer of such Shares or such other consideration might violate any applicable law or regulation (including applicable non-U.S. laws or regulations) or entitle the Company to recover the same under Exchange Act Section 16(b), and any payment tendered to the Company by a Participant, other holder or beneficiary in connection with the exercise of such Award shall be promptly refunded to the relevant Participant, holder or beneficiary.
14.16 No Trust or Fund Created. Neither the Plan nor any Award shall create or be construed to create a trust or separate fund of any kind or a fiduciary relationship between the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate and a Participant or any other Person. To the extent that any Person acquires a right to receive payments from the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate pursuant to an Award, such right shall be no greater than the right of any unsecured general creditor of the Company or any Subsidiary or Affiliate.
14.17 No Fractional Shares. No fractional Shares shall be issued or delivered pursuant to the Plan or any Award, and the Committee shall determine whether cash, other securities or other property shall be paid or transferred in lieu of any fractional Shares or whether such fractional Shares or any rights thereto shall be canceled, terminated or otherwise eliminated.
14.18 Headings. Headings are given to the sections and subsections of the Plan solely as a convenience to facilitate reference. Such headings shall not be deemed in any way material or relevant to the construction or interpretation of the Plan or any provision thereof.
Section 15. Term Of The Plan.
15.1 Effective Date. The Plan shall be effective upon the later to occur of (i) its adoption by the Board or (ii) immediately prior to the Registration Date (the “Effective Date”).
15.2 Expiration Date. No new Awards shall be granted under the Plan after the tenth (10th) anniversary of the Effective Date. Unless otherwise expressly provided in the Plan or in an applicable Award Agreement, any Award granted hereunder may, and the authority of the Board or the Committee to amend, alter, adjust, suspend, discontinue or terminate any such Award or to waive any conditions or rights under any such Award shall, continue after the tenth (10th) anniversary of the Effective Date.